With Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay 2007
Deep Pocket White of the Year (Santa Cruz Mountains; $60)
Perfect pairing: Nut-crusted Sole with Citrus Salsa
Why it works: Chardonnay has a special affinity for sweet nuts like cashews, so wrapping a piece of fish in them and pan-browning the packet, to add some toasty notes, makes a shoo-in pairing.
The Ridge Chardonnay, from the Monte Bello Vineyard on the Silicon Valley side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, has a great, bright edge of citrus that we shamelessly loop into here with a salsa loaded with all the kinds of winter citrus you can find in the market.